Vanguard Pays Tribute To Modern Warfare Meme

People attend a funeral for a fallen service member while a dialogue prompt asks the player to pay their respects.

People don’t remember much from Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare, but they do remember the incredibly cringey scene where the game asks the player to press F to pay their respects during a somber funeral. Seven years later, the now-infamous meme has reappeared as an achievement in Call of Duty: Vanguard.

As first spotted by Polygon, a clip one player shared online shows a silver trophy popping with the letter F after they accidently blow themselves up with their own grenade. It’s perhaps the latest bit of evidence that Call of Duty is at its best when it’s farthest from trying to comment on anything serious.

“Press F to play your respects” blew up in part because robotically gesturing in the direction of grief completely broke the mood of the otherwise grim scene. At the same time it seemed poignant give how the the U.S. government had spent the last decade deploying empty platitudes like “support the troops” to evade all scrutiny and accountability when it came to the military doing evil stuff. In the years since it’s become the perfect rejoinder for expressing fake anguish over thins that don’t actually matter.

As PC Gamer points out, critics and even Conan O’Brien lampooned the moment when Advanced Warfare came out, and it’s since taken on a life of its own, reaching top meme status on places like Twitch where viewers routinely flood the chat with Fs whenever something bad happens.

It remains to be seen whether players will be pounding the F key for Call of Duty: Vanguard in the coming weeks. Reviews for the game have so far been mixed, with some critics lauding the multiplayer and zombie modes while finding the campaign a mess of high peaks and low valleys. Vanguard, of course, is the first game in the series to arrive after a California lawsuit surfaced complaints of sexual harassment, discrimination, and racism at the game’s publisher over the summer.

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